Using promotional items is a great classic way for companies give out to increase brand awareness and boost revenue. For instance, a shop may give out branded shopping bags to customers which would advertise it anywhere the bag goes. 

To get a good return on investment, companies often give out functional promotional items that are likely to be used in public. Some examples are wearable items like hats and t-shirts, water bottles, bags, etc. 

Unfortunately, hundreds of promotional items get tossed due to a perceived lack of value. Consumers don’t want to use or wear ugly or low-quality items. Products that consumers don’t have a use for also get trashed or discarded in an obscure drawer. 

Are you worried about which promotional items you should get for your company? Keep reading for the best functional promotional items that will be lovingly used by your consumers. 

Tote Bags

Tote bags are the most popular promotional item because of their functionality. We all use bags at least once a day to carry items from point A to Point B. As people become more environmentally aware, they prefer to reuse shopping bags rather than getting plastic ones from the store.  

A well-branded bag issued to hundreds of people can increase your brand’s awareness. Make good use of both sides of the tote bag to advertise your company name, logo, and any other message you may want to put out. The best part is that the bags are carried out in public and seen by many people.

When choosing a tote bag focus more on quality rather than appearance. What consumers need is a bag that will carry heavy items like groceries without tearing. So durable shopping bags that can carry many goods are sure to be a hit with your customers. 


Branded umbrellas are a great promotional item if your company is in a place that experiences unpredictable rain. Umbrellas are another item that needs to be functional rather than fashionable. If it is raining, consumers will use your umbrella to shield them from getting wet. 

When choosing the umbrella look for sturdy designs. Place your logo prominently all over the umbrella so that it can draw as much attention as possible when in use. Ensure that it can’t get damaged by strong winds or harsh rain or it will quickly end up in the bin.


T-shirts are a popular promotional item because they are walking billboards advertising your company. The only time someone will discard a promotional t-shirt is if it is damaged out after too much use. 

Consumers will wear pretty custom t-shirts when going out. They would also wear the uglier t-shirts to the gym, around the house, or to bed. 

Even if your customer doesn’t like your t-shirt they would donate it to charity, which would further promote your brand and exposes your company even more. T-shirts also won't make you bankrupt. No matter what your promotional budget is, you will likely find a t-shirt to suit your price range. 


Hats are another popular promotional item that has a great return on investment. If your employees wear uniforms, then branded hats should be part of their attire. Hats can also be given out to customers for their loyalty.

The key to creating hats that people will wear again and again is to design great quality hats that look good on most people. No one will wear an ugly or uncomfortable hat. So if you can’t buy quality, it’s better to choose a different promotional item rather than waste money on cheap hats. 

Custom Face Masks

Face masks have become a popular promotional item as people become more safety-conscious. Give branded masks to employees as part of their uniform. This will give them a unified consistent look and make them easily identifiable as employees. You can even add your employee’s names to the mask instead of using name tags.

Branded face masks also make great gifts for loyal customers as they will be proud to wear your brand. If your masks are well designed, you could even sell them as part of your merchandised products. You can also donate the masks to your local community as part of your corporate social responsibility efforts. 

Water Bottles

Water bottles are another functional promotional item that gets a lot of use. Customers will carry a pretty water bottle to the gym, to school or college, work, etc. To get the best return on your investment, pick a good quality water bottle that can withstand wear and tear. 

Additionally, plastic bottles should be BPA free to protect your customers from negative health consequences. Most customers will use their bottles daily so the brand shouldn’t wash off easily. Remember that the bottle may go through a dishwasher or get scrubbed with a scouring pad daily. 

Pens and Notepads

Stationary items are great items because everyone needs to use them on a daily basis. There is always a need for a pen whether it is to sign a document or take down a quick note. Have pens at your customer service stations so that guests can use them as needed. Allow them to keep the pens if they want to. 

Employees should also use branded pens at work rather than generic ones. Notepads, journals, diaries and planners are also a great way to keep your brand at the top of your customer's minds. If you want your consumers to use your journals daily give them an attractive cover and divide the inside pages sensibly. 

Use Functional Promotional Items to Advertise Your Brand

Companies spend a significant amount of money on promotional items so it's important for them to choose goods that will bring you the best return on investment. Items like tote bags are a great idea as customers have no hesitation in using them in public. 

If you're looking for some of the best promo items to help advertise your brand, contact us for assistance.